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What are your Market Basket surprises?

I shop at the MB in North Billerica which is an old-time MB complete with dingy lighting, sawdust floors, and fairly straightforward stock that would appeal to a town that has a lot of traditional Yankee working-class citizens.

Still, sometimes I see something that just surprises me that it would be in this store.

Today, there was the most beautiful eel in the seafood case. It was artfully curved around bags of mussels. I stood there and admired not just the eel but how it was presented.

In the dairy case, pre-made organic guacomole for $1.50 had me scrutinizing those little price tags on the shelf because I felt sure this must be a mistake.

Previous discoveries include pickled lambs tongues which look just like one would imagine,

Have you ever seen anything in a MB that seemed out-of-place and had you wondering how it got there?

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  1. Favorite deals courtesy of my BF who is a MB fanatic:

    Organic milk/half and half significantly cheaper

    Lobsters are often $4.99

    MB brand organic chicken stock $1.50

    Conventionally farmed apples are easily 50% cheaper than anywhere else

    Exotic produce at the Somerville location has a quick turnover and is very fresh

    Barilla pasta is consistently cheaper

    However, many MB house brand foods contain high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil--read labels!

    My favorite is my favorite cleaning product Bon Ami is $.89

    I also love the wide selection of queso fresco

    1. The Somerville MB has fresh whole goose which we get yearly in nov. or dec.

      1. Vlados imported style prosciutto in the deli. $6.99 a pound. Fabulous stuff. As good as the real deal.

        Really superb Hodgson's Mill and Bob's Red Mill baking supplies.

        5 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          The Vlados is fairly new and I think they introduced it initially in Reading and Chelsea, since they may still be gauging response its worth giving some feedback that you like it to a manager and it may not be available in all stores.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            The Vlados is the best domestic I've had, and can stand proudly next to the standard imported. While a domestic product, I love that it takes two states to make it. The pigs are from Iowa, but the hams are hung in Rhode Island. I love that!

            1. re: GilbyEast

              Makes it *almost* local, doesn't it? Hoping to find it at the Reading MB today. We usually buy prosciutto at Pace in Saugus.

              1. re: GilbyEast

                Cool, did not know it was semi-local! I see a trip to RI ahead of me just to check out the operation.

                1. re: GilbyEast

                  Cool, just found this article in the Providence Journal. It is the Daniele folks, but the Vlado is their new, longer cure prosciutto:

                  http://www.projo.com/food/content/fd-...

              2. split sheep's heads, beef hearts, and whole cow tongues have been a few of my pleasant surprises.

                1. I recently tried MB whole wheat pasta, somewhat skeptically, but it's better (and cheaper) than the national brands. Not exactly exotic, however. I have noticed some inventory changes that are aimed at somewhat more diversity than they used to offer. I am in that MB on occasion, but more often in Wilm or Tewks. There are differences in inventory from one MB to another, even same-size stores in the same town. The one on DWH near the Pheasant Lane Mall seems to have a larger fresh seafood section than typical, including fish heads.

                  1. Alas and alack...yesterday at the Reading MB there was no:
                    Vlados imported-style prosciutto
                    Goose
                    Queso fresco (the fellow we asked didn't even know what it is... harumph!)

                    Didn't look for split sheep's heads, beef hearts, and whole cow tongues, however, due to the eeewww factor in my brain.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Gio

                      Gio,
                      The people at the Woburn store know what Queso fresco is and where it is, but
                      trying to find the mascarpone was another story, lol!

                      I think the stores are geared to more ethnic groups living near each vacinity.

                      1. re: mcel215

                        Yes, I guess you're right about location/ethnicity vis a vis stocking the stores. It's frustrating though. I'm so surprised to read that goat meat was available at the Danvers store...Will definitely have to check that out.

                    2. The biggest surprise at MB is be able to shop without being crushed between two old women's shopping carts...

                      1. I noticed they are now selling Rao's Sauce for $6.99 a jar. I think I was more suprised at the price than the product.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Infomaniac

                          First week I saw it they introduced it at $4.99, 50% cheaper than Whole Foods

                        2. How about Pellegrino at 99 cents a bottle - I noticed it was "on sale" last week at Shaws for $2.49.

                          They also carry an Italian-style chicken sausage, DeLuigi, which as good as pork.

                          1. This week at the Danvers MB: end pieces from the deli - so inexpensive. cheese for making into quiche, some nice salami. Often, there are pieces of prosciutto and we've also bought that Spanish type of ham (can't remember the name...). Also, in the meal aisle - goat meat at around $3.00 a pound. Also, bought four pounds of ground lamb for less than a dollar. Must have been a pricing mistake, but the best by date was for the preceding day. Made a huge amount of lamb meatballs and shepherd's pie. I felt like I had won the lottery!

                            1. Maine Jonah crab meat for $5.99/5oz, though they don't have them all the time.